Chicago Cubs

When Will The Madness Stop: Defending Milton Bradley

MESA, AZ - FEBRUARY 23:  Milton Bradley of the Chicago Cubs poses during photo day at the Fitch Park Spring Training complex on February 23, 2009 in Mesa, Arizona. (Photo by Donald Miralle/Getty Images)
Robert WalshContributor IApril 24, 2009

Not even 20 games and the Cubbie faithul are to the point of throwing Bradley to the hounds. This is a message to those fans who are calling for his head.

To start, let me flash you back to Jan. 6. The big headline in Chicago read something along the lines of "Milton Bradley to sign with Cubs." 

As a long time Cubs fan, my initial reaction was like many die hards that I had talked to.  The signing was at best a risk that might pay off. The idea of relying on a guy that has been known to throw numerous tirades was a little scary considering that the media coverage here as well as the die hard bleacher bums that will be behind him all season long. 

But for those of us that could overlook that issue and decide to give him the benefit of the doubt still saw one glaring issue that was radiating from him. He is injury prone.  Now if you don't already know, Bradley is not just injury prone.

He is a walking, talking medical disaster. Looking at his career, only once, in 2004 with the Dodgers, has Bradley has logged 100 games in the outfield. I could go on about this but it is so well known and documented it is honestly boring to think about now. 

I was never a fan of him playing for the Cubs. I thought and I still do think that the signing was a huge mistake by Jim Hendry and that the Cubs could have gone out and addressed their issues this offseason in a much more productive way.  But the Hendry thought that this move was the right one and made it happen. 

My message to my fellow die-hards, is simple: Give him a chance, a chance that he deserves.

And my response to your statement next statement of "but I have" is: No, no you haven't.

The media coverage of Bradley and the fans reaction to Bradley striking out three times is absolutely ridiculous and I don't blame him for one second if he is a little upset. The man has a groin injury and should have never been playing the other night that he struck out three times and had issues on the field. 

His first plate appearance he did not swing once. Why? Well, he is hurt that's why and if you had watched him at all in his last game then you could see that plain as day. 

How can you blame him for being put in a lineup when he couldn't even run enough to get to a foul ball pop up?  You can't, and as far as I am concerned, that is Sweet Lou's fault that he was out there. 

As far as I am concerned, Bradley has not been given a chance at all by the fans and really before Thursday, I was mad about it too. But I am not mad at Bradley. We all knew he was going to miss time with some sort of injury. The man is injured every season. But after just 14 measly games there is numerous stories floating around on-line that the fans are sick of him already. 

Listen I love my Cubs. I grew up a fan and I will always be a fan. I don't believe that Bradley will have a really good year with the Cubs, but I don't think that it is fair to be turning on him already.  

If you need to be mad at anyone, be mad at Hendry. For he is the one that gave Bradley the contract and told him to sign on the dotted line.

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